Tory Admit Mistake In Privatisation Of NHS
The Government’s reorganisation of the NHS, or as most believe to be the case, the privatisation by stealth; was its biggest “mistake”, senior Conservatives have reportedly admitted, says both the Indepentent and Times newspapers.
Labour has pledged to repeal the “NHS privatisation” 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which saw a major restructuring of how the NHS is funded, and heralded in the new dictate: all NHS services MUST be put out to tender and private healthcare companies allowed to bid for the contract.
Those believing that the bill was designed to pave the way for private firms to take over much of the running of the health service or even its total privatisation, have so far been proven correct as over £1.5 billion of NHS contracts have been awarded to private healthcare comapnies such as Virgincare and Circle Health.
Indeed, UKIP's Nigel Farage is on record as saying that private healthcare such as hospitals can be used whilst NHS funding and staffing levels can easily be cut.
The Independent reports that experts have said the reorganisation, which is estimated to have cost about £3bn, had caused “profound and intense” damage to the NHS with one saying former Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, would be facing disciplinary action if he had been a doctor.
A senior Cabinet minister told The Times newspaper: “We’ve made three mistakes that I regret, the first being restructuring the NHS. The rest are minor.”
One inside unnamed source, according to the Times, said the plans, which were drawn up by Mr Lansley, were “unintelligible gobbledygook” and an ally of Chancellor George Osborne said: “George kicks himself for not having spotted it and stopped it. He had the opportunity then and he didn’t take it.”
A former No 10 adviser The Times reported, said:
“No one apart from Lansley had a clue what he was really embarking on, certainly not the Prime Minister. He [Lansley] kept saying his grand plans had the backing of the medical establishment and we trusted him. In retrospect it was a mistake.”
Further, the newspaper reported that 'Experts were scathing about the off-the-record admissions.'
They quote Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association’s governing council, as saying:
“Rather than listening to the concerns of patients, the public and frontline staff who vigorously opposed the top-down reorganisation, politicians shamefully chose to stick their head in the sand and plough on regardless.
The damage done to the NHS has been profound and intense, so this road to Damascus moment is too little too late and will be of no comfort to patients whose care has suffered.”
Others said the bill had distracted from the need to find efficiency savings because of a looming £20bn funding gap caused by rising demand. No mention of course of the massive savings that Cameron and co have forced upon the NHS, effectively cutting its budget in real terms!
The Independent article continues:
Chris Ham, chief executive of the respected King’s Fund think-tank, said: “You’ve got leaders in the NHS rearranging the deck chairs when we’re about to hit the iceberg.”
Clare Gerada, who was chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs until 2013, said politicians and policymakers “need to have a long, hard look at themselves”.
“They are saying this now but they should have said it then. The big issue is that nobody has been held accountable for it. If Mr Lansley was a doctor, he would have been referred to the General Medical Council,” she said.
However, as you might expect, the current Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, defended his predecessor, says the same newspaper article:
“Andrew’s structural changes are saving the NHS more than £1bn a year. Because of that we can employ 7,000 more doctors and 3,500 more nurses,” he said.
We wouldn’t be delivering nearly a million more operations a year or be able to put more resources on the front line without what he did.
The difficult question for those who complain about Andrew’s reforms is where would we have found the money otherwise?”
Source: The Independent / The Times